July 21, 2020
ear Roslyn families,
The criteria issued by the state for the reopening of school in each of the state's regions provides some much-needed clarity about how we may be able to implement our plans for the new school year. As long as the infection rate remains low and Long Island continues in Phase IV of its reopening, schools will be permitted to open. Of course, as we have seen many times during the course of the pandemic, what may be allowable today may not be allowable tomorrow, let alone in early September.
Nonetheless, we are proceeding to develop our plans and to be prepared for the likely scenarios that I have described in my previous messages. Rest assured that you will be fully apprised about how school will open once our plans are finalized and approved by the state, and about any changes that become necessary as we proceed. As per state guidance, we continue to refine our three models: in-school instruction, at-home instruction, or a hybrid of the two.
We are taking numerous steps to provide for the protection of students and staff. For example, in the photo I am sitting behind a transparent desk shield. We are purchasing these for every student and teacher in the district. I will continue to provide information and updates about additional measures we are implementing to help
mitigate the transmission of infection if and when we are able to return
to the buildings.
I want to emphasize one aspect of our plan that may not get enough attention: the social and emotional health of our students and staff. With so much of our focus on the physical demands of returning to school - social distancing, wearing masks, disinfecting, room configuration, schedules, program changes, and so on - we don't want to lose sight of the considerable psychological adjustment that many of our children may face when they return to the school environment. It is not reasonable to expect that we'll just pick up where we left off in March, and that everything will simply go back to the way it was before. There will be a period of adjustment, and mental health support will be built into the daily routine in all schools. Our mental health staff is busy preparing to address this new and constantly unfolding reality.
I also want to reassure parents once again that if we have to use a hybrid model, with students attending school only on certain days, children in the same family will be scheduled to attend school on the same day, to the greatest extent possible. We are keenly aware that this is very important for parents as you balance your work and child-care needs.
In the upcoming weeks, we will schedule a number of virtual meetings for parents to explain protocols, plans and safety measures, as well as provide information including applicable instructions, training, signage and how we intend to sustain communications about these critical matters through our website, text and email groups, virtual meetings/webinars, and other means.
Please remember that our administrative staff is back in the buildings and working every day, so reach out to us if you have a question or concern. We'll be here all summer. (But please don't visit - you won't be allowed in without an appointment
and a COVID-19 Health Screening!)